Skip to content

Oakland Museum of California Appoints New Director of Marketing and Audience Engagement

(OAKLAND, CA) January 23, 2019 — The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) announces the appointment of Mary Beth Smith as its Director of Marketing and Audience Engagement, a newly added position serving on the Museum’s executive leadership team.
Smith will oversee OMCA’s dynamic programming and events, leading four of the Museum’s major departments: Marketing and Communications, Learning Initiatives, Public Engagement, and Visitor Services. In her role, Smith will also be responsible for advancing the Museum’s strong commitment to community and supporting its long-term financial sustainability goals.
Smith comes to OMCA with more than 20 years of experience as a non-profits arts leader, including executive leadership roles at San Francisco Ballet, YBCA, and SFMOMA. Most recently, Smith was the principal of her own management consulting firm, supporting clients with institutional and marketing strategy and planning services.
“This newly-created position brings together OMCA’s commitment to community engagement and financial sustainability, combining many of the Museum’s important functions under one umbrella,” says OMCA Director and CEO Lori Fogarty. “We are thrilled to have someone of Mary Beth’s experience joining OMCA as this critical time for the Museum, including the Museum’s 50th anniversary celebrations in 2019. Her success as a leader at several of the Bay Area’s major cultural institutions will be an asset to OMCA as we continue to build new audiences and develop exciting new programs in the coming months.”
From 2011-2017, Smith served as the Director of Marketing, Communications, and Audience Engagement at San Francisco Ballet, where she led a team responsible for marketing, communications, digital strategy, audience engagement, publications, customer service, and sales activities, generating $23 million in annual ticket revenue. While there, Smith increased the Ballet’s ticket revenue by an average of 6% year over year and increased paid attendance from an average of 225,000 to 240,000 per year.
As a core member of the Executive Team and a senior leader of OMCA, Smith’s primary responsibilities as Director of Marketing and Audience Engagement will include: leading and implementing an institution-wide marketing and audience engagement strategy; growing visitor attendance; integrating marketing, public programming, and education experiences; working collaboratively with Center Directors to achieve strategic goals; managing brand strategy; overseeing revenue-generating programs and onsite sales strategies; and overseeing volunteer Docent Program and education initiatives.
“I am thrilled to be joining the team at OMCA and to be taking on this very special role. I am deeply invested in the idea that education and audience engagement can be leveraged in new and interesting ways to attract new visitors and increase audience loyalty. I’m also honored to become a part of an institution that evidences such strongly-held values around community; an organization that truly believes it can play a critical role in creating a more just and equitable Oakland,” says Smith.
Smith received her Master of Business Administration from the University of San Francisco and her Bachelor of Arts in English and theater from University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee.
For more information and to schedule an interview, please contact:
Lindsay Wright, 510-318-8467, [email protected].
The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) tells the many stories that comprise California, creating the space and context for greater connection, trust, and understanding between people. Through its inclusive exhibitions, public programs, educational initiatives, and cultural events, OMCA brings Californians together and inspires greater understanding about what our state’s art, history, and natural surroundings teach us about ourselves and each other. With more than 1.9 million objects, OMCA brings together its multi-disciplinary collections of art, history, and natural science with the first-person accounts and often untold narratives of California, all within its 110,000 square feet of gallery space and seven-acre campus. OMCA is a leading cultural institution of the Bay Area and a resource for the research and understanding of California’s dynamic cultural and environmental heritage for visitors from the region, the state, and around the world.
The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) is at 1000 Oak Street, at 10th Street, in Oakland. Museum admission is $15.95 general; $10.95 seniors and students with valid ID, $6.95 youth ages 9 to 17, and free for Members and children 8 and under. There is a $4 charge in addition to general admission pricing for special exhibitions. OMCA offers onsite underground parking and is conveniently located one block from the Lake Merritt BART station, on the corner of 10th Street and Oak Street. The accessibility ramp is located at the 1000 Oak Street main entrance to the Museum.